The Ten Best Indie Films of Summer 2014

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August is nearly over, and the summer movie season limps, gasping, across yet another annual finish line. This marks the end of a yearly period – from mid-May until the week before Labor Day – that Hollywood treats us to an endless fusillade of teen-friendly, effects-driven, PG-13-rated action spectaculars that, by August, have left most audiences gasping for air. This summer saw the release of three (3) big-budget comic book movies, an enormous super-sequel featuring robot dinosaurs, an Americanized pop remake of a 1954 Japanese monster flick, a wonderfully goofy film about talking apes taking over the world, a bonkers film wherein a woman evolves into a supercomputer with the help of illegal drugs, an effects bonanza starring four teenage mutant The Hulks, and a dumb movie for little girls about a friendly demoness.

Related: The 10 Best (and 10 Worst) Summer Blockbusters of 2014

And while the glut of the summer season is grabbing all the trade papers’ headlines, and raking in billions of dollars, and setting the internet ablaze, the world of independent and limited-release films has been – as is their wont – quietly accumulating all the praise. Small-release films are rarely beholden to the season in which they come out. They are released whenever they can grab whatever small number of screens they manage to, and can often quietly explode in the background, behind all of the more obvious explosions of typical summer fare.

The Summer of 2014 saw the release of some rather notable indie, foreign, and limited-release features, some of which will likely prove to be some of the best films of the year. You likely all saw Guardians of the Galaxy (current financial tally: over $502 million), but how many of these awesome, thoughtful, fun, provocative, wonderful indie flicks did you see?  

 Witney Seibold is a contributor to the CraveOnline Film Channel, and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. You can read his weekly Trolling articles here on Crave, and follow him on “Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.